Secret Obsession Review: A Dull And Predictable Made-For-TV Thriller

July 18, 2019
Jonathon Wilson 0
Film, Film Reviews, Netflix
1.5

Summary

A thrill-less thriller with little about it to recommend, Secret Obsession offers no surprises — though it would be a shock if it doesn’t find an eager audience on Netflix.

1.5

Summary

A thrill-less thriller with little about it to recommend, Secret Obsession offers no surprises — though it would be a shock if it doesn’t find an eager audience on Netflix.

If anyone has a secret obsession, it’s Netflix — though to be honest it isn’t much of a secret. The obsession is with cookie-cutter made-for-TV genre entertainment dolled up with big-deal advertising. See: You. Its latest thriller Secret Obsession is as derivative and predictable as such things get. It’ll fit right in.

Get your Lifetime movie bingo cards ready. Here’s the young woman (Brenda Song) who has amnesia. Here’s the deeply suspicious man (Mike Vogel) pretending to be her husband. Here’s the deep-voiced detective played by a respected by fading actor (in this case Dennis Haysbert.) That’s almost a full house already. Bingo!

Just from the above paragraph, you can — and probably have — guess the entire plot of Secret Obsession. Writers Peter Sullivan and Kraig Wenman have penned a script that seems knowingly terrible but doesn’t actually have any real self-awareness. It’s just bad; cheesy, derivative, and at times laughable. There’s not much pleasure to be found in guessing the various twists and turns — partly because they’re so predictable so they don’t qualify as twists to begin with, and partly because the trailer spoiled them all anyway.

Predictability isn’t the be-all and end all of something like Secret Obsession, but it’s a big part of the experience. What’s left boils down to little more than decent actors forced spew mouthfuls of corny claptrap and make horrible decisions. Ironically I suppose that’s predictable in itself.

Of course, following on from the colossal success of You, none of this really matters anyway. Netflix is prime real estate for stuff like Secret Obsession and it’ll no doubt find an eager audience; quite what they think of it remains to be seen, especially since it doesn’t manage to find the same level of sheer enjoyable ridiculousness that everyone’s favourite stalker series did. Without that gonzo sensibility, Secret Obsession has little about it worth recommending — except for obsessives, maybe.

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